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Posts from the ‘Office of the Children’s Lawyer’ Category

Is a Court bound by recommendations made by the Office of the Children’s Lawyer?

Once the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) gets involved in a case, clinical investigators prepare a written report, which is presented by the Children’s Lawyer for the Court’s benefit. The question then becomes, how much weight does a Court put on such reports? Courts generally put significant weight on them as they are independent third-party accounts of the child’s best interest. However, a Court is not legally bound to follow recommendations in the report, particularly where the Court finds the OCL’s recommendations are not supported by the evidence at... MORE »

How does a Children’s Lawyer get involved?

A Children’s Lawyer becomes involved in a case by Court Order. The circumstances depend on whether the case concerns custody and access or child protection. Where custody and access are at issue, the Court can request the Children’s Lawyer get involved or by either parent, or lawyers for either parent, may bring a motion asking the Judge to get the Children’s Lawyer involved. When requested by a parent, the Children’s Lawyer has the latitude to decide whether to get involved—priority is given to high conflict cases. Where child protection is... MORE »

What does the Children’s Lawyer do?

The Children’s Lawyer acts as legal representative for the child where custody and access or child protection is at issue. In general, the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) serves as a third-party investigator to provide the Court with unbiased recommendations with respect to requirements for proper child care, custody, and well-being. An assessment can be ordered by the Court at any stage of the proceedings in furtherance of this objective. When engaged, the Children’s Lawyer will build trust with the child by meeting as often as necessary to determine... MORE »

What is the Children’s Lawyer?

The Children’s Lawyer is a qualified lawyer who works for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL), a government-funded office that represents children under the age of 18. The Children’s Lawyer presents to the Court what they believe is in the child’s best interest in cases involving custody and access or child protection. Despite common misconceptions, the Children’s Lawyer is not the children’s legal guardian, and is rather an advocate for children.

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